Shaped like a lightning bolt, Lake Wakatipu is the third largest lake in New Zealand. The Dart..See all locations in Queenstown
Nestled in the Southern Alps of New Zealand on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is the premier four season lake and alpine resort in the Southern Hemisphere and is rated as one of the world's top destinations. It is situated 310m (1,017ft) above sea level at latitude 45 degrees south and longitude 169 degrees west.
Day and night, 365 days a year, Queenstown offers all the fun and stimulation of a cosmopolitan resort. It is also complemented perfectly by its surrounds - Cardrona Valley and the picturesque historic goldmining village of Arrowtown are to the north-east, Gibbston Valley and the Kawarau Gorge are south-east, the pretty township of Kingston lies at the southern end of Lake Wakatipu and the frontier town Glenorchy sits at the western end of the lake amongst snowcapped mountains, pristine lakes and rivers and national parks.
A popular holiday spot at any time of the year, Queenstown is renowned for its four distinctive seasons. The alpine climate means winter brings crisp, clear blue-sky days amongst snow-capped mountains, spring retains the snow but blooms into longer, warmer days, summer offers hot days averaging 26ºC and long twilights, and autumn’s brilliant red and gold colours are a special feature across the region.
The region has an abundance of early European heritage to explore including restored buildings and deserted towns from the goldrush of 1862, homesteads of the earliest European settlers, and the TSS Earnslaw vintage steamship (built in 1912 – the same year as the Titanic).
To delve more into the area’s rich goldmining history, nearby Arrowtown is a must. Born in the goldrush of 1862, the picturesque old goldmining village has quaint tree-lined streets, old miners’ cottages, a restored Chinese Village and the fascinating Lakes District Museum.
Queenstown may be small but it certainly packs a huge bite – literally! At the most recent count, Queenstown and nearby Arrowtown were home to more than 150 restaurants ranging from the highly salubrious to the cheap and cheerful.
Queenstown also acts as a convenient base for trips to explore some of New Zealand’s most famous attractions like Milford and Doubtful Sounds, Aoraki Mount Cook, Franz Josef and Fox glaciers, Wanaka, the Catlins, and the World Heritage Fiordland (the largest in New Zealand) and Mt Aspiring National Parks. There is also easy access to some of New Zealand’s Great Walks such as the Milford, Routeburn, Caples, Greenstone, and Hollyford tracks.
Queenstown has an international airport located a 10-minute drive from the town centre, so it's very easy to get to even if you only have a short time available for a visit.
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